Opposition celebrates as coalition becomes minority: ‘No right to exist’


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Opposition celebrates as coalition becomes minority: ‘No right to exist’
Likud, Shas, Religious Zionism hail potential end of Bennett-Lapid government after Meretz MK quits; opposition is disunited, but in theory now has the votes to dissolve Knesset
By TOI staff
19 May 2022

Israel’s opposition on Thursday feted the potential end of the coalition government as yet another member broke ranks and announced her resignation, while members of the wayward lawmaker’s party expressed hope that her mind could still be changed. Meretz MK Ghaida Rinawie Zoabi’s move left the coalition in a minority in parliament, with 59 of 120 MKs. Though the other 61 MKs are hardly united, the opposition will now hope it can muster a majority to vote for parliament’s dissolution.

Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud-led opposition last week abandoned plans to advance a bill to dissolve the Knesset and hold new elections, but was Thursday weighing attempting to advance such legislation for a preliminary next week, depending on whether it believes it can now muster the necessary votes. (Such a bill needs only a simple majority in its preliminary vote, but must garner an absolute majority of at least 61 votes to pass its three subsequent plenum readings. If it fails at any stage, it cannot be resubmitted for six months.)

Likud legislators celebrated the latest blow to the government. Senior Likud MK Yariv Levin said the “failed government” of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his partner Foreign Minister Yair Lapid “has turned into a minority government. Now it’s clear the government has lost its right to exist.”

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